An Argument of Blood and A Black Matter for the King, by Matthew Willis & JA Ironside

More from young Michael in Devon. 😉


There is little which is quite so exciting for me as discovering a fresh, new talent in historical writing. In Willis and Ironside I feel I’ve found two writers who can carry me back to the past and can show me a time when, amid the brutality and irrationality of politics, there were still great characters, men of vision and daring, and women of intelligence and foresight.

I have to admit, I was not keen to review these two books. They were, I was told, a two-book series about the Norman invasion, and how the invasion affected the lives of Normans and Saxons alike. I immediately thought that sounded wrong. Perhaps one book, and if there’s enough of a story, maybe a trilogy – a simple pair of books didn’t seem right to me. And at the time I was on a tight deadline (again), and I needed a pair…

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